As a federation working with partners to build communities and enhance the lives of children, youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, creating partnerships is a core aspect of our organization’s identity. The impact of our work is due, in great measure, to the incredible partners we have are fortunate enough to work with. This month, we want to feature the partners involved the Community-Led Collaboration Project.
Through the Community-Led Collaboration Project, we are working with new and existing provincial and regional partners to create meaningful and inclusive conversations about how to create a better network of services and support for children and youth with support needs and their families. This project emerged from the shared conviction of four provincial organizations that the transformation of services for children and youth must be grounded in the needs of communities, and the belief that local service providers hold key knowledge about what their communities need. The four umbrella organizations reached out to our members, our members connected us to other organizations or groups, and new partnerships emerged.
At the end of May and early June, we co-hosted community conversations in Campbell River and Gold River. The Local Engagement Team includes Rivercity Inclusion, Laichwiltach Family Life Society, BC Complex Kids and the Gold River Children’s Health Hub. As a team, we created spaces for dialogue to explore what is working, what is missing, and what these communities would like to see happening for children and youth with support needs to thrive.
It has been an incredible process of co-creation in which all the partners shared honestly about what is needed to create safe and inclusive spaces to host families, caregivers and community organizations. They have been drivers of what the conversation spaces and process should look like, and we are grateful for their guidance.
As a team, we feel encouraged by the comments that participants in these conversations have shared with us:
- “It’s nice to feel heard. It can be very isolating for families with children [with disabilities] in small, rural communities.”
- “The meeting was very helpful. We shared our thoughts and experiences, and built a plan for good, future changes.”
We are deeply grateful to our provincial and regional partners for their trust in us to support the co-development of these processes. And we are excited about where our partnerships will take us; we know this is just the beginning!
When we work in partnership, we know that our collective impact is larger than we can immediately see.
Written by Erika Cedillo
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